Even Donald Trump Was Afraid To Face Marvel’s Luke Cage
Donald Trump has a long history in comic books, but it took Luke Cage to intimidate the 45th president out of his famously litigious ways.
Anyone even vaguely familiar with Donald Trump will know that he’s not one to shy away from a lawsuit, but even the 45th President of the United States was too scared to take the likes of Luke Cage to court in New Avengers.
Donald Trump, it’s fair to say, has been a hot button topic for comic writers and artists in the past, and will likely continue to be in the future. The man himself – or simulacrums of him – are plentiful. A very Trump-esque rendition of MODOK was revealed in Spider-Gwen Annual #1. Catwoman: Election Night #1 has the Penguin running for mayor under the slogan “Make Gotham Great Again,” promising to build a “huge, beautiful wall” around the city. And DC also wasn’t very subtle with the cover art of Lex Luthor’s in-universe biography.
In a flashback, some off-page emergency results in an ambulance trying to get to its destination, only to have a limousine blocking its way. Luckily, Cage was on the scene, and exclaiming, “Where you are going is not more important than where they were going!” he lifts the limo into the air, allowing the ambulance’s passage before dropping the vehicle back to the ground. It’s at this point that none other than the then-future president hopped out of the limousine. Ever litigious, Trump mutters, “I will sue the–” before being interrupted by Cage, who yells at him to “Get your ass back in the car!” The future leader of the Free World (who has already had tenuous connections with Cage) acquiesces and the next panels see him literally leaping back into the confines of his limo and sheepishly rolling up the window.
This story takes place during the Secret Invasion arc, so there’s plenty of Skrull related hijinks throughout the rest of the book, but this was far from the first (and almost certainly not the last) time we’ve seen the current President of the United States rub elbows with the funny pages. A 1988 issue of Iron Man sees Tony Stark offhandedly commenting he once owned a floor in New York’s Trump Tower to a female companion as they walk the streets of Manhattan. UK’s prescient 2000AD Prog 1741 – released in 2012 – saw Trump already as sitting president and trying to deal with a zombie outbreak (he’d fire every aide or assistant that offered any advice to his distaste).
Captain America: Steve Rogers No #1 (released in the election year 2016) saw Red Skull launching a campaign to keep refugees out of the US – while Trump is never explicitly mentioned, considering that writer Nick Spencer is one of the industry’s most outspoken critics of the president, it’s not hard to connect the dots. Khary Randolph even featured POTUS as a stand-in for Donkey Kong in the artist’s cover of Black #4, showing the book’s hero facing off against the likes of Klansmen and corrupt judges in the style of the iconic game with the president at the top.
While no public figure is immune to parody, it’s no surprise that one as boisterous and divisive as Trump would be a frequent source of inspiration for creators. Whether you love love him or hate him, there’s no denying Donald Trump‘s exuberance, and oftentimes alienating omnipresence is ripe for satire.